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The iPhone 4 Versus the Samsung Galaxy S

written by: •edited by: Simon Hill•updated: 5/19/2011

The Apple iPhone 4 is the most popular smartphone ever, and the Samsung Galaxy S is one of the best Android smartphones yet. Let's see how these two powerhouses stack up against each other.

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    samsunggalaxys The Samsung Galaxy S is the flagship Samsung Android device and has excellent hardware specs coupled with Android 2.1 Eclair. The iPhone 4 is the latest iPhone by Apple with many better features than the older iPhone 3GS. Both are strong smartphones most of us would be happy to own, but of course offer their own advantages and disadvantages. So which one should you buy?

    Who will win in the match of iPhone 4 vs. Samsung Galaxy? In this review, we compare them in different areas and see how they fare against each other.

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    Design and Display

    Both the iPhone 4 and the Galaxy S have such excellent designs that it's hard to choose between them. The iPhone 4 has a clean, elegant designiphone  and the Galaxy S has a stylish, minimal design too. The Galaxy S is considerably bigger than the iPhone 4, but if you want a large screen this could be a good thing -- it's certainly not a bulky number. Both phones are extremely slim and have superb build qualities.

    The iPhone 4 has a beautiful 3.5 inch retina display with a resolution of 640 x 960 pixels, while the Samsung Galaxy S has a brilliant 4 inch Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 480 x 800 pixels. Both the displays are easily among the best, with the iPhone 4 marginally leading the way in terms of display quality and the Galaxy S winning the size battle.

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    Hardware

    Both the iPhone 4 and the Samsung Galaxy S sport excellent hardware specifications. Both have a 1 GHz processor with 512 MB RAM. The Galaxy S has 8 or 16 GB internal memory with support for up to 32 GB microSD cards while the iPhone 4 is available in 16 and 32 GB versions, but offers no support for external memory cards. For this reason the Galaxy S edges this round.

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    Operating System

    The Galaxy S ships with Android 2.1 Eclair with the Samsung TouchWiz 3.0 UI, but the Android 2.2 Froyo update is available for download. The iPhone 4 comes with the latest version of the iPhone OS - iOS4.

    The iOS platform has more than 350,000 applications in the App Store while the Android Market has over 250,000 applications -- although reports show that Android is closing the gap and likely to be the market leader by the end of 2012. While the iPhone App Store is restricted, the Android Market is open, meaning that you'll get a more varied choice. So it's a close call between Android Market and Apple's App Store.

    Android 2.2 also comes with Flash support which is a big negative against the iPhone. On the other hand, the iPhone's UI is much more consistent and intuitive than the TouchWiz UI. The Galaxy S comes with the Swype text input system built into the device, which is much better than tapping virtual keys to type. I give this round to the Galaxy S.

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    Camera

    facetime Both the iPhone 4 and the Samsung Galaxy S have excellent multimedia capabilities. The Galaxy S has a great 5 MP camera with a resolution of 2592 x 1944 pixels. It also has features like autofocus, geotagging, touch focus, face detection, smile detection etc. The iPhone 4 has an excellent 5 MP camera with autofocus and LED flash which can capture images at a resolution of 2592 x 1944 pixels too.

    Both of them take excellent shots, but the iPhone has a larger image sensor which results in better picture quality. Both the Galaxy S and the iPhone 4 can record 720p videos at 30 FPS.

    The iPhone 4 also comes with a front facing secondary camera which lets you make video calls using FaceTime. The international version of the Samsung Galaxy S has a front facing VGA camera, but some variants of the Galaxy S don't (Vibrant and Captivate for example). In the Samsung Galaxy S vs. iPhone 4 camera round, the victor is the iPhone 4 that clearly has the upper hand.

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    Connectivity

    Both the iPhone 4 and the Galaxy S support all the standard connectivity options like GPRS, EDGE, 3G HSDPA, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth withsamsung-galaxy-sa  A2DP, GPS etc. They also support tethering so that you can connect your computers to your mobile phones to use their data connection.

    The Galaxy S can also act as a mobile hotspot which allows it to act as a Wi-Fi hotspot for other devices. The iPhone doesn't possess this feature.

    There were initial network connectivity issues in the iPhone 4 which reportedly caused the network reception to degrade if you held the phone in a certain way, but I rather feel these were exagerated, and a quick easy fix was offered. However, for the hotspot facility, the Galaxy S is definitely the better option when it comes to connectivity.

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    Conclusion

    So who's the winner in the Samsung Galaxy S vs. iPhone 4 battle? Both the Galaxy S and the iPhone 4 are excellent devices; you cannot go wrong with either of them. They are very close in all respects, it really depends what is important to you in a smartphone. If it's a camera and a greater choice of apps, the iPhone will get your vote. But personally (especially if you take into account the price), the Galaxy S is my winner. It still has a great (and growing) marketplace for apps, superb screen, offers a hotspot facility as well as the ability to use microSD cards.

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    References

    • Samsung Tech Specs, http://www.samsung.com/global/microsite/galaxys/specification/spec.html?ver=high
    • Galaxy Images, http://www.gsmarena.com/samsung_i9000_galaxy_s-3115.php
    • Apple, http://www.apple.com/iphone/
    • iPhone images, http://www.apple.com/iphone/gallery/